Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Guest post: Kelly of The Startup Wife

Hi everyone! :) I'm thrilled to be posting here at the ever-stylish and adorable Latte Love. I'm Kelly, and you can find me at The Startup Wife, where I write about life married to (you guessed it) a startup employee. I live in the SF Bay Area with my husband J, I'm a fiction writer and grad student, and I spend way too much time with my Google Reader. I blog about marriage, relationships, health, faith, social justice, cooking, race/culture/ethnicity, writing, and money-saving tips.


In the wedding vows he wrote and said to me just over 2 years ago, at a beautiful park surrounded by our family and friends, my sweet husband J included, "I will laugh and play with you."

At the time I thought it was cute, but what I was really focused on at the time was his vow to kill for me every spider I ever saw (because spiders=the worst thing in the world).

And, you know, things like loyalty and love and perseverance and service and all that.

But the longer we've been married, the more I appreciate the times we play together, and the more I come to see it as an important--and maybe even central--part of our marriage.

It took me by surprise, really, that 'play' matters the way it does. I love heart-to-heart conversations, and deep, intense bonding, and when I was younger I pictured marriage as a sleepover party every night: sharing whispered secrets, spilling your deepest soul. And I tend to be rather reserved in social situations; I hate dancing or cheering or otherwise letting loose. When someone asks for audience participation, I'm the one slinking down in my seat and avoiding eye contact like the plague.

And J? J's a PhD student turned startup engineer. I think if you ran an MRI of his brain, you'd find a bunch of equations. Or facts about science. (I'm the complete opposite, which is why 'facts about science' was the best I could come up with.) I'm not saying he's a nerd, but some things I've caught him saying over the years include, "Take a solute, ANY solute ..." and "Don't act all surprised that there are histamines in alcohol!"

But when we're together, it's different.

We love to tease each other about slips of the tongue, or dumb questions we ask, or clumsy moments. The other day I heard a truly awful commercial on the radio, a man speaking earnestly about a grocery store: "What could be better than a festival? ... A FRESHTIVAL!" J and I lay in bed that night and spent a good twenty minutes trying to repeat the commercial with a straight face, and dissolving into giggles every time we tried. (Seriously, you try it! FRESHTIVAL. Who paid for that one?) Last night we played an impromptu version of mad libs until both of us were laughing so hard we could barely breathe.

Sometimes I look out our window and wonder if anyone can actually hear all the inane things we're saying, and it freaks me out. (We live in a small apartment complex, after all. Neighbors, I apologize.)

But then I think, who cares? Here are the two reasons I love playing together in our marriage: one, it's fun. It makes us enjoy each other's company. I love spending time with J, and I know that even if we're just hanging out at home (which we usually are when it's just us; we're homebodies. Or maybe it's just that we're poor) we can have a blast together. We can be forming inside jokes and giggling all night long.

And two, it's a sort of intimacy, really: no one else really ever sees that side to us; it's something we reserve for each other only. It's a way of saying, I trust you and I don't care if I look completely stupid in front of you. It's a way of saying, I know you get me, even the weirdest parts of me. It's a way of saying, you are the only person I will ever act this silly around.

And I love that.

And, hey, J promised to do that with me, forever, in front of like a hundred and forty people. (Sucker.) NO TURNING BACK NOW, buddy. We'll be giggling like maniacs together when we're old and gray.

How about you--is there anything you've unexpectedly found that you value in your relationships?

Thanks so much for having me, Katie! Can't wait to hear all about your trip!


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